Vanity is to have an excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements.
Synonyms to vanity are conceit, conceitedness, self-conceit, narcissism, self-love, self-admiration, self-regard, self-absorption, self-obsession, self-centredness, egotism, egoism, egocentrism and egomania.
An antonym to vanity is modesty.
The problem with vanity in a company is foremost related to waste of time and money as the lack of focus on the interests of the business to the advantage of feeding the vanity of the owner or management makes the company less competitive, less efficient and less effective.
Just like vultures consultants, lawyers, agents, luxury goods providers, promotional goods and other suppliers can smell vanity from miles away and will flock around you and your company to feed of your vanity. Their flattering of you fits right into your vanity and they will certainly be able to drain you of both time and money that could have been spent better elsewhere.
Lower input from you on the core processes and interests of the business means lower output in goods and services that can be sold to customers. If you don’t deal with day-to-day operations there will be efficiency lost as not just you but your employees will miss opportunities to streamline processes, meet customers and think about business.
This will soon become a serious problem and risk to the business – all because you need to feed your vanity with goods and relationships not relevant.
Vane persons typically think they are better than other persons and too good to humble themselves to others. That mentality and behaviour will have a very negative impact on external and internal relationships that are very important to the business. How will you be able to get a good feeling of the clients and employees needs if you are not able to properly listen to them or even meet with them?
Not being able to suck it up and deal with clients will surely mean lost business and also the opportunity to improve your products and services as the knowledge and feeling for what needs to be improved usually comes from close meetings with the companies chief stakeholders – the customers, suppliers and staff.
As you waste time, money and fail to understand what is really going on inside your business as well as with your external relationships you are prone to make bad decisions and fail to move your business in the right direction. You will not, as described above regarding efficiency, do things wrong but you will also do the wrong things.
All that time in managing all the unneeded relationships, goods and services you acquired because you are vane will, simply put, make you a very bad businessman.
At the end of the day all that money and time wasted, all the efficiency lost, the failure to understand relationships and the lack of effectiveness can jeopardize your entire business.
Businesses go bankrupt due to a lack of cash flow. When you don’t have enough money in the bank account and you fail to renew your credit line or the confidence of your investors you are done for. You have wasted the resources and opportunities and as a result your business will go under.
It is a drastic conclusion but not an unwarranted one. Vanity can lead to your undoing as a businessman so watch out and pay attention to your mortal sins. We all have them but being aware of them might protect us from their devastating consequences.
Founder of Fryday, An International Network Of Professionals
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